Previously: Quarterback, Running Back, Fullback, Wide Receiver
Returning from last season: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller, Joe Jon Finley (he was on the practice squad last season), Richard Dickson (he was on injured reserve last season)
Currently a free agent: None
New to the team: None
The Detroit Lions are in very good shape at tight end, thanks in part to Brandon Pettigrew. He followed up his rookie season, which was ended early because of a torn ACL, with what could be considered a breakout season. He had 71 receptions for 722 yards and four touchdowns (and helped my team win another fantasy football title in the POD league) and is poised to put up even bigger numbers in 2011 with a healthy Matthew Stafford and less drops.
The Lions' second tight end is Tony Scheffler, who is very versatile. Last year his numbers weren't out of this world or anything, but he is expected to be another weapon in the Lions' offense going forward, and he signed an extension during last season that will keep him in Detroit for the foreseeable future.
The other three tight ends currently on the Lions' roster are Will Heller, Joe Jon Finley and Richard Dickson. Heller appeared in all 16 games last season and is a solid special teams contributor, so he will likely be back as the third tight end. Finley was a practice squad player last season, and Dickson spent the year on injured reserve after suffering an injury during training camp.
Need going forward?
This is one position that seems pretty set going forward. Pettigrew is a playmaker at tight end, and Scheffler is a solid contributor as well. Heller is a good backup TE and contributes in other ways as well.
I don't think the Lions will take more than three tight ends, so barring an injury or Finley/Dickson having an amazing training camp, the spots are already limited. I can't see anybody being signed at this position unless he's an undrafted free agent being brought in as a camp body.